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A Piece of My Mind
February 21, 2001

I Remember

JAMA. 2001;285(7):857-858. doi:10.1001/jama.285.7.857

I remember my grandfather, Robert J. McIvor, as a kindly and dapper man who used to sit back and smile as we wandered his backyard on Easter searching for hidden eggs. I remember him allowing me to be his caddie, when the golf bag was nearly as big as I was. When I was finally old enough to play, I nearly beaned him with a ball that teed off the toe of my errant club. And I remember sitting next to the piano with him as he drew a picture of a human heart and explained what his heart attack meant. He died suddenly in 1972, an event especially poignant for me as it was the first family death I had experienced. As a well-liked physician, he had a huge funeral, and many of the townspeople from Oakland came to pay their last respects. But memories fade, and although I have a framed photograph of him in my study, he is not frequently in my thoughts. But my warm recollections were rekindled when my uncle sent me an arresting account of an astonishing event in my grandfather's career, written by the man himself.

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